Volunteers to Urge Voters to “Decline to Sign” Abortion Petition

The following is a press release from Family Council Action Committee.

Little Rock, Ark. — On Wednesday, Family Council Action Committee announced it is organizing volunteers across the state to urge voters not to sign petitions for the Arkansas Abortion Amendment. The effort is part of the pro-life group’s “Decline to Sign” campaign.

Family Council Action Committee Executive Director Jerry Cox released a statement, saying, “This abortion amendment would write abortion into our state constitution, and it would jeopardize Arkansas’ laws against taxpayer-funded abortion. Most people probably do not realize that this amendment sets Arkansas up for taxpayer-funded abortions up to birth. This is a deeply flawed measure that has no business being on the ballot, and we are urging Arkansans to politely decline to sign the petition for the abortion amendment.”

Cox said his group is organizing volunteers to speak with voters about the amendment as they head to the polls for the March primaries. “Voters have a right to understand what this amendment would do, and polling places provide a great opportunity to interact with registered voters. That’s why we have prepared thousands of flyers and placards explaining the abortion amendment and encouraging people not to sign the petition to place it on the ballot. We are sharing this material right now online at FamilyCouncilActionCommittee.com and across the state, and we are working with volunteers to distribute these materials outside polling places and elsewhere in their communities.”

Cox believes that voters will choose not to sign the petition once they understand how far the abortion amendment would go. “This amendment is more extreme than Roe v. Wade, because it writes abortion into our state constitution. It legalizes abortion for the entire nine months of pregnancy, and revokes common sense abortion laws like informed-consent and parental consent requirements. It opens the door to abortions paid for with taxpayer dollars. It fails to require basic medical licensing or health and safety standards that protect women from dangerous abortion procedures, and it’s a law our elected representatives won’t ever be allowed to fix or change. Once voters understand that, we are confident they won’t go along with this radical abortion amendment.”

Supporters of the amendment must gather 90,704 petition signatures from registered voters by July 5 in order to be eligible for the ballot. Family Council Action Committee’s “Decline to Sign” campaign will encourage Arkansas voters not to sign the petition this spring and summer.

Family Council Action Committee is a conservative 501(c)(4) organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Arkansas Right to Life Holds Press Conference Against Abortion Amendment

On Wednesday Arkansas Right to Life held a press conference at the capitol encouraging Arkansans not to sign the abortion amendment petition.

Arkansas Right to Life Executive Director Rose Mimms said the amendment is more extreme than Roe v. Wade and would legalize abortions on healthy mothers carrying healthy children.

Watch their press conference below.

Proposed Amendment Would Pave the Way for Taxpayer Funded Abortion in Arkansas

This article is part of an ongoing series tracking the Arkansas Abortion Amendment of 2024 and examining its possible effects on state law.

A proposed constitutional amendment could legalize taxpayer-funded abortion in Arkansas.

The group Arkansans for Limited Government is collecting petition signatures to place the Arkansas Abortion Amendment on the November ballot.

If passed, the amendment would write abortion into the state constitution, allowing thousands of elective abortions in Arkansas every year.

The measure prevents the Arkansas Legislature from restricting abortion during the first five months of pregnancy. It also contains sweeping health exceptions for abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy – even when a viable child could be delivered instead of aborted.

It automatically nullifies all state laws that conflict with the amendment. That jeopardizes basic restrictions like parental consent and informed consent requirements for abortion, and it threatens to erase medical licensing requirements for abortionists.

The amendment’s language also paves the way for taxpayer-funded abortion in Arkansas.

When abortion is recognized in a state constitution, it gives judges a tool they can use to mandate public funding for abortion.

For example, in 1993 West Virginia’s Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that restrictions on abortion funding violated the state’s constitution. Alaska’s state supreme court issued a similar ruling in 2001. And in 2002 the Arizona Supreme Court ruled the state must pay for abortions that are necessary to preserve the health of pregnant women who are part of the Arizona Health Care Containment System.

In 1988 Arkansas voters passed Amendment 68 to the Arkansas Constitution prohibiting public funding of abortion except to save the mother’s life.

Following a lawsuit by a Little Rock abortion facility, in 1994 a federal court struck down Amendment 68, saying it violated the federal Hyde Amendment — a rider on the federal budget prohibiting public funding of abortions except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.

The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On March 18, 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Arkansas’ Amendment 68 should only be blocked insofar as it conflicted with the federal Hyde Amendment.

Practically speaking, this means Arkansas has prevented public funding of abortion, with the exception of abortions paid for with Medicaid funds in certain circumstances permitted by the federal Hyde Amendment.

The Arkansas Abortion Amendment of 2024 changes Amendment 68 to the Arkansas Constitution, and it nullifies all state laws and amendments that conflict with the abortion amendment. That means the amendment could nullify state laws that prohibit public funding of abortion.

The Arkansas Abortion Amendment would raise new questions about how to interpret Amendment 68, making Amendment 68 susceptible to new legal challenges. A court could block all or much of Amendment 68 if the court determined that Amendment 68 restricted or delayed abortion in violation of the Arkansas Abortion Amendment.

The abortion amendment threatens other state laws against taxpayer-funded abortion as well.

Over the years, Arkansas’ elected officials have taken different steps to prevent state funds and government contracts from going to abortionists and their affiliates. The Arkansas Abortion Amendment likely would nullify these laws because they restrict abortion.

The Arkansas Abortion Amendment would provide state and federal judges with an opportunity to strike down Arkansas’ laws against public funding of abortionists and reinterpret the Arkansas Constitution to permit public funding of abortion.

Arkansans have generally opposed taxpayer-funded abortion, but taxpayer-funded abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy could become a reality in Arkansas if the abortion amendment passes.

You can download a copy of the amendment here.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.